If you\u2019re a small business owner, there\u2019s really only one question on your mind; how do I stay in business through this COVID-19 crisis? We\u2019ve never seen anything like this before.\u00a0 But then again, we have had disruptions that have shuttered businesses before.\u00a0 Maybe you\u2019ve lived through some of these; The energy crisis in the 1970\u2019s with cars waiting in line for gas and inflation rates through the roof. The stock market crashes of 1987, 2000, 2008, and now. September 11 Millions of businesses didn\u2019t make it and attributed their failure to the crisis.\u00a0 That\u2019s normal. And yet, there were businesses in the same industries that succeeded.\u00a0 They not only survived, but thrived in the face of a crisis. Small Business Crisis Mindset What was different? Choose: Victim or Victor Let\u2019s pretend that what\u2019s different is who you are in the face of a crisis. Who do you say you are? Victim? Or Victor? The question you have to ask yourself is where do you want to be when we are all on the other side of this? It may seem like you have no choices, but the choices you have are numerous. You get to say whether you\u2019re a victim or a victor. No one else. And how you say is how it is. It\u2019s a choice.\u00a0 In the same way you choose to put on a red shirt or a blue shirt.\u00a0 You choose what mindset you want to put on in a crisis. Following is a list of mind-shifting and transformational ways of thinking and being that you can choose right now to immediately shift your mindset from victim to victor. Speak With Power What you say to yourself (and others) about the way things are is how things are. Your family and your team are looking to you for clues about how to react. As the leader of your family or your team, you must be responsible with your speaking. Look back on the last few conversations and reflect on what you said about the current situation. Was the conversation hopeful or hopeless? Let that sink in. It\u2019s all about the filter through which you view and live your life. If you see this crisis (any crisis) as a threat to your business, then it\u2019s a threat to your business. If you see a crisis as an opportunity and the inevitable fumbling and messiness as part of the process, then that\u2019s what it will be. From this day forward, speak powerfully. If you don\u2019t see the opportunity, look for it. Your outlook and attitude in a crisis will influence the outcome. If your biggest customer cancelled orders for 60 days, what will you do with the time you have? If you have excess inventory, what other distribution channels can you try to get your goods and services into someone else\u2019s hands? Follow the money.\u00a0 In every crisis, someone is making money.\u00a0 Who are those people in your world? Right now, everyone is focused on loss.\u00a0 You focus on gain. Where is the gain. Look for it and you will find it. Reframe Reality: Things Happen FOR You, Not TO You Despite what others want you to see and believe, tell yourself that this is happening FOR you and not TO you. This mindset will give you a sense of control. And, while you can\u2019t control events and people, you can absolutely control how you view them. What if the latest crisis is something that happened FOR you? Imagine that? What if it was some kind of gift?\u00a0 Seems odd and counterintuitive to look at a crisis as a gift. But give it a go. What if this massive shift in how you work and how your business works was an opportunity for transformation. You have the time, just sit with it. What are some things you never thought you would do in your business , but now these wild ideas might actually be something worth considering? Focus on Courage not Fear Fear is an appropriate human emotion. But, left unchecked, your fear will drive you out of business.\u00a0 Don\u2019t let some external crisis define you or your business. Give yourself the time and space to acknowledge your fear. \u00a0 And then let your courage take over. Courage means being afraid and doing it anyway.\u00a0 Think about what you can do now -- and what you can do once things pick up again. Brainstorm expansion ideas. \u00a0 Make a list of things that a courageous person might do in your situation. This list is just for you, so don\u2019t edit yourself.\u00a0 The best ideas are inelegant ideas. You have very little to lose in exploring. Here are 5 questions you can use to prompt idea generation: What\u2019s missing, that if it were present, would blow the roof off of your sales?\u00a0 Do you need to hire another salesperson? Run more ads? Or perhaps a targeted email marketing campaign to existing customers at a level you\u2019ve never done before? What are some things that you would NEVER do in your business? Now, what if those were things you always did in your business? Instead of focusing on your product or service, think about your capabilities. What other things can your business produce or provide with the tools, resources or people you have? In what ways can you pre-sell your customers? Are there creative credit solutions? What have customers been asking for that your business hasn't provided up to now?\u00a0 Review customer service feedback. Can you figure out a way to deliver? If you need more ideas, read:\u00a0 Your Coronavirus Marketing Strategy. See yourself as a hero.\u00a0 What would a hero do? Replace Worry with Action By taking action, you replace fear.\u00a0 Instead of worrying, pick a task and devote your entire attention to it. Fear, uncertainty and doubt get pushed aside when your mind has to focus on an activity. Think of five projects you never seem to have time to do. Now is the time to tackle one of them -- maybe more. The same goes for keeping employees productive -- give them projects to do. Here are just a few projects you might tackle to put your mind on something productive and keep employees contributing: Hold a \u201cclean out and organize your email inbox\u201d day. \u00a0If your inbox drives you crazy because you have a lot of unread emails, now is the time to go through them.\u00a0 Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read. Change social media settings so you no longer get a notification for every little thing (notifications you don\u2019t read!). Make it a team challenge. Improve your website. Websites often get neglected during busy times. Slow times are great for updating your website design such as updating product pages, landing pages and images.. Compose blog posts and social media marketing updates. \u00a0Even if you can\u2019t use them now, create them as drafts. Stockpile them for when activity picks up.\u00a0 You\u2019ll hit the ground running. Brainstorm new marketing and sales ideas. Make a list of 13 different ways you can put your product or service in front of your customer.\u00a0 Even if everyone is working remotely, you can do brainstorming in an online conference call over a shared brainstorming document with your team. Develop a stockpile of custom social media images.\u00a0 A simple tool like Canva can make great images for sharing on social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram --\u00a0 either now or when activity picks up. Install new software. Have you been thinking of implementing a CRM system? What about online appointment scheduling, or a way to accept online payments? A new accounting system?\u00a0 Now is a perfect time to address any such systems and improvements you want to make. Work on your business continuity plan. Every business needs a plan. The current situation will help you think of holes and items missing in your disaster preparedness plan. Organize your tax documentation.\u00a0 Tax day has been pushed back to July 15, 2020.\u00a0 But don\u2019t wait -- use this time to gather and organize your documentation, if you haven\u2019t already done so. These may seem like minor activities in the midst of a major crisis.\u00a0 But they will get you back to feeling in charge. Once you accomplish a few proactive activities, you will feel more confident in the face of bigger issues. Find the Good Feelings It\u2019s easy to feel down and out.\u00a0 But so much better to feel good and happy. What makes you happy?\u00a0 It might be as simple as enjoying the sunshine, petting your dog or cat or going for a walk.\u00a0 Do that. Talk with your family and neighbors. Find something to do that will provide immediate results.\u00a0 Clean something, do laundry, read a book. Did you know that whatever emotion you are feeling right now will multiply?\u00a0 Left unchecked, your mind will spin and churn on negative thoughts if that\u2019s all you feed it. While it may seem impossible to shift from despondent to joyful, it\u2019s a lot easier to shift from despondent to grateful. Then you can move from grateful to hopeful.\u00a0 And finally from hopeful to joyful. March to Your Own Drum Sure, people will call you NUTS for not freaking out with the rest of the world.\u00a0 But after reading this, you know better. I\u2019m not saying to ignore the news or pretend like everything is peachy.\u00a0 Don\u2019t be irresponsible when it comes to health matters. I am encouraging you to not bury your head in the sand. Get comfortable with \u201cwhat\u2019s so\u201d and look for opportunities that are hiding below the surface.